Monday, March 26, 2012

Community Monday: Peepers and Kane

It has been a looooooonnnng time since I stuck with my original blog topics. Writing with a strict topic in mind started feeling very limiting. So I stopped. Yet here I am again thinking back on Community Mondays. So here we go! 

Meet Peepers and Kane, the loving pair that is adoptable at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.  Over the weekend I had the privileged of taking these little guys out to the Seal Beach Health Expo by the pier. There they strutted their stuff and showed hundreds of heath conscious   individuals that they deserved a forever home. 

Typically I am not a huge fan of small dogs. Growing up with larger breed dogs (like chows, chocolate labs and now american bull dog mix) I haven't really understood the importance of a small dog. I mean, anything you can pick up and throw over head can't be counted as a real dog right? WRONG! So wrong! 

Peepers and Kane came to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center together. Peepers got his name because he was found dirty and sick. (They both were) Peepers' hair was so badly matted that he couldn't even see! Kane, his trusted companion was literary carrying Peepers along and guiding him to safety. Hence why they are now called Peepers (he couldn't see) and Kane (she was his walking stick!) 

After hearing that story I about cried. Who wouldn't? This pair were inseparable and I could soon see why. Both dogs were so loving and cuddly. Almost immediately Kane and Peepers began to trust and love me. I hated to admit but I love them too! Those two followed me around as I walked around the doggy kennel at the Health Expo. They had already attached themselves to me in just a few short hours. How could I not love them? 

These two were both popular favorite at the expo. As I shared their loving personalities so many interested people came to give each of them a little pet. One little girl even cried as she begged her mom to let her take Peepers home. But that's the catch. Peepers and Kane are so bonded they need to find their forever homes together. 

Finding a home for 1 dog let alone 2 dogs is tough. I really hope Peepers and Kane do find their forever home soon. The pair are only about a year to a year and a half, making them energetic little guys. 

They sure did make believers out of me! When the day was over, I hated taking them back to the shelter. As I put them back into their dog run they both looked up at me with those eyes that said Hey wait, I thought you were our new mom! Poor babies! I hope they find someone to love them soon! 

If anyone is interested in 2 small dogs, check this pair out at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. You won't be sorry! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Always Learning the Hard Way!

As you know, chalk paint has become my favorite crafting supply. I have just about painted everything I could think of in chalk paint. From window frames to terracota pots to clay pigs, I see everyday items as chalk paint possibilities. 

When I came across a chalk painted serving tray I naturally was excited about the possibilities. I quickly purchased the paint product, Pebeo Porcelaine Paint. 

If you read my blog post on The Truth About Martha Stewart Crackle Paint you know what comes next. I jumped head first into a shallow pool of water. Okay.... maybe not that dramatic but I dove my paint brush into this new paint with such excitement that I never stopped to ask for directions. (So typical) 

Had I researched this paint a little further I would have first found that not only had I applied the paint entirely incorrectly but also purchased the wrong paint by mistake! 

The results: A streaky cheese plater with a low gloss. My new cheese platter looks like a 3 year old painted it. So typical. 

I hate the saying hind site is 20/20. Obviously! So here is what I learned: 

Purchase the CORRECT porcelaine chalk paint.  I purchased Anthracite Black Brilliant Gloss. (why I didn't think it was odd the first time I read "brilliant gloss" is beyond me. Pulling hair out now) 

Follow Directions! Wit and Whistle gives very simplified directions on how to apply. (Read after the fact, of course) What it doesn't share is some of the simple techniques that help your application. 

I found a video that shared some useful details like; what type of brush to use, don't shake the paint (only stir) and how many coats to apply. The video is in a different language but has subtitles in english. Very useful! 

Once again, I learned my lesson the hard way. Now I have one UGLY cheese platter, and porcelaine paint that I will never use again. (Each bottle is about $7.00 before shipping. I of course bought 4 bottles and paid for expedited shipping.) Again, real smart Lauren! 

Oh well, happy Sunday everyone! I am off to start a new project that I actually know how to do! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Understanding 10 Easy Blog Tips

I am constantly searching for ideas, tips and inspirations on where to take my blog. Writing comes naturally to me but blogging does not. My top favorite blogs all have a directions. For example, Saw Dust and Paper Scraps, one of my all time favorite blogs writes mainly on DIY topics and household renovations. She may stray from time to time but her entire message is consistent. 

I struggle with consistency on a regular basis. On one hand, I would like to relay to my readers that I am a crafter and an entrepreneur trying to shine through Etsy. On the other hand I would like to show who I really am which is not only a crafter but a traveler, a designer, a chef, a big sister, a lover and hater of working out, a horseback rider,a community volunteer, an animal lover and much much more. How do I relay all the different aspects of my life and continue with a constant message for my readers? How important is sharing the "real you" on your blog? 

This morning, I was happy to come across a blog post by 504 Main  (thank you Pinterest) where the author Holly discusses her same struggles within her blog. Her 10 Easy Blog Tips was just what I needed to read this morning while sipping coffee from my mason jar. (Oh. another aspect of my life, I am obsessed with mason jars! In my opinion everything taste better in a mason jar!) 

I read a lot of these tips for bloggers. Each one seems to have a conflicting message. Some say to keep it short, others say pour your heart out. WHICH IS IT!?!?! The back and forth can drive any girl crazy. Holly seems to know just what I am talking about. Her #1 tip: 

1. Be who you want to be – if you want to cook one day, craft another, and write a creative story another day, do it. It is your blog and you have to own it and love it. Some will tell you to find a niche, and that is OK too. For me personally I love to cook, and write and craft and I want to share it all. 

Thank you Holly! This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Perhaps my next blog post will be about how much I hate/love (I think) P90X or how my best friend started a fitness group, Fitness in Bloom that starts tomorrow. (I have no idea how anyone could possibly enjoy being sore like this! I can't even walk up my stairs!) Or maybe I will blog about the weekend volunteering at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. Who knows! But I will stick to Holly's advice and be who I want to be! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodbye Taylor the Sailor, Hello New Office!

Last night I got a desk! This doesn't seem like a big deal for most people but for me, its crucial for my productivity. I have been complaining for months that I needed a desk to work at. FINALLY I have one! 

I can't say Ron was too impressed when he got home from work yesterday to see my Taylor the Sailor room completely torn apart. (I did after all tear it apart for the redecorating that I haven't completely finished yet.) Sorry Tay, but your bedroom has turned into my office space! Not to worry, I have big ideas to keep Taylor the Sailor room looking good! 

After I get my new little office space fixed up, I will continue working on my Etsy store. First, I think I need to make this sign for my new Sailor Room/Office.... 

A reminder to Ron that I may be crazy, and I may tear apart the house at the most inopportune times but hey, RELAX! I've got it covered! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day Light Savings Was All I Needed!

It's truly amazing how a little sunlight can change your entire motivation! 

Typically, I come home from my day job, exhausted, defeated, and ready to hunker down and call it a day. I hardly want to make dinner let alone continue crafting. My attitude changed overnight as I woke up to a new day full of more evening sun light! 

This past week I have been coming up with new ideas, changing my facebook, blog, Etsy store and website as well as driving Ron crazy with my back and forth ideas on our little condo. (Sorry Ron!) I blame Pinterest for all of my new household ideas! 

Here is a few things that I am working on now.... (not my photos but here is a sneak peak of the direction I am headed) 

Mason Jar lids with chalkboard paint? I think yes! But wait.... I have a new twist! 
Perks of working for a powder coating company! American PVD

And finally, a little experimenting with glass paint! 

Although I am experimenting with my love for Mason Jars and chalk paint, I  still found time to make more window frame chalkboards! 

I have a few new ideas for my window frame chalkboards too! Can't wait to share! Check back soon to see my progress (finally!)